NBC Spin Control: We Take Back That "Cruci-fixins" Joke Plot

Thanks to my Yahoo-loving wife, I've learned that NBC is backtracking big-time on the Britney Spears "Cruci-fixins" plot we noted last week. E! Online News reports:

Earlier this week, NBC issued a press release touting Spears' guest appearance on the sitcom. Per the Peacock's PR department, Spears, in her first television outing since having a baby, would appear on the Apr. 13 episode playing a religious conservative TV personality who winds up cohosting a talk show with Jack (Sean Hayes). Spears' character, the release said, would emcee a cooking segment called "Cruci-fixin's."

Faster than you could say, "Oops, they did it again," NBC was facing another beef from the American Family Association.

The conservative Tupelo,Mississippi-based group, whose protests helped lead to the cancellation of the network's The Book of Daniel, was ready to call for a boycott of NBC, saying the Spears-fronted episode "mocks the crucifixion of Christ" and "further denigrates Christianity" because the show airs the night before Good Friday. The AFA is urging its supporters to contact NBC affiliates and demand they not broadcast it.

...For its part, NBC bristled at allegations it was intentionally trying to poke fun at Christians, issuing a statement chalking up the dispute to unnamed trigger-happy publicist.

"Some erroneous information was mistakenly included in a press release describing an upcoming episode of Will & Grace, which, in fact, has yet to be written," the network said in a statement, which was disseminated to its affiliates. "The reference to 'Cruci-fixins' will not be in the show and the storyline will not contain a Christian characterization at all. We value our viewers and sincerely regret if this misinformation has offended them."

Spears' reps were unavailable for comment on the controversy.

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